Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Don't fill the role, hire the talent

Ok, this blog is a request from a friend....and honestly, these are usually my favorite blogs to write.  The do you balance the urge (and need frankly) to hire great talent as opposed to hiring the great resume.  This is one of those age old topics and honestly, I think separates a great company or team from a crappy one.  Let me explain the two schools of thought on this:

“Hire the Position” - some may call this old school, or whatever....the idea is that you have an open req and you look to fill that req.  Looking for 3-5 years experience?  Great, don’t deviate from the plan and look for someone who can fill that slot on your team.  

“Hire the Talent” - I guess this is new school?  It’s basically the opposite, you try to find the best talent you can and evolve your team around that talent.  For a sports analogy it’s “find the best available athlete”.

Make sense?

Awesome, here’s my take.  In order to build a great team you have to look beyond the resume and trust the raw skills...aka hire the best available athlete.  Honestly, it’s a no brainer.  In today’s workplace things change so quickly that the “role” is likely outdated six months after the person why bother?  True story, I’ve been involved in a few searches in my career where we say we want “X, Y and Z” in a candidate.  Invariably, what happens is we realize that X is a product of their environment, Y is something that you can’t learn and Z is something you need to learn set match, you’ll never find a perfect fit and you have to start looking for the best person you can.

Amazing leaders identify great talent and then evolve their team to maximize that persons skills....and then....ahem!  And then those great leaders coach, mentor and grow the talent so that their skills/experience actually matches their potential.

That’s about it, next time you’re looking to fill a role on your team try to look beyond the job description and focus a bit more on hiring the best person you me, you’ll be happy you did.


  1. I completely agree to you. But most of the time persons fail during the technical interview not the HR. There is no one in the market to brush up technical interview skills. If there is someone then that 6 month outdated gap can be filled every time with good athlete.

  2. Plus Devesh I think recruiters need to do a better job prepping the candidate and letting them know what to expect...especially in a technical interview!

  3. @ Jeff the deficiency or I don't know what to call it . These gaps are made into business and more into profitable one. And Gayle an ex googler has capitalized on it. She is doing good business. I dont know wether its good or bad but I definitely need a coach to make me good athlete.